- - Tuesday, April 26, 2011

EGYPT

Official: Iran ties won’t undermine Gulf security

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait | Visiting Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf vowed that Cairo’s possible ties with Iran will not undermine the security of oil-rich Arab states in the Gulf.

“If we have to open a [new] page with Iran … it will not undermine the security of the Gulf states because the security of Gulf states is important to us and Egypt’s national security,” he told reporters.

Mr. Sharaf arrived in Kuwait on Tuesday for a two-day official visit as part of his first Gulf tour that began in Saudi Arabia and will include Qatar.

TUNISIA

Ben Ali aides banned from standing in polls

TUNIS | Officials of Tunisia’s former ruling party for the past 10 years will be barred from standing in elections July 24, Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announced Tuesday.

The time limit was cut from the 23 years some groups had asked for following the ouster in January of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled since 1987 and was toppled by a popular uprising.

Mr. Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD.) was regarded as a pillar of the increasingly corrupt and repressive regime he led in the North African country. The country is being ruled by a transitional government.

“After reflection, the government has adopted a 10-year limit. We decided that 23 years was not logical. There are officials of the RCD. who were repressed by the former regime,” Mr. Caid Essebsi told a news conference.

YEMEN

Officials: Deal on crisis may be done next week

SANAA | A Gulf Arab deal for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power could be finalized next week, Gulf officials said Tuesday, as Yemen struggles to end a political crisis that threatens to plunge it into chaos.

A senior opposition leader said Abdullatif al-Zayani, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, was expected to visit the capital, Sanaa, within days to determine the time and venue for signing a deal requiring Mr. Saleh to step down within 30 days.

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